Welcome to Newport’s Real Estate Resource

01 Jan
January 1, 2014
Bellevue Ave, Newport RI

Bellevue Ave, Newport RI

Come visit often for all things Newport - our aim is to provide useful links, a calendar of great local events, and easy access to Newport, Rhode Island’s real estate scene, plus articles about living in this fabulous city as well as helpful home ownership tips.  Have an idea?  Let us know!

 

Where to Spot the Snowy Owl Around Newport

13 Feb
February 13, 2014

For local bird watchers, this has been one of the best winters ever for spotting the snowy owl.

Shirley Lally, a volunteer at the refuge, told Newport Patch the birds, usually native to the Arctic region, have been moving south because the food supply in the Arctic region is down.  Other common names for the owl are the Arctic Owl, Great White Owl or Harfang. Although the bird’s native home is the circumpolar region, it is considered to be a nomadic species when fluctuations in its food source population force it relocate.

Lally said that despite the seaside location of the sightings, the bird does not feed from sea.  “They don’t dive for fish, they are not sea-birds,” said Lally. “They eat rodents and small animals. They are moving south, looking for food.”

On Thursday, Jan 9, the Born to be Wild Nature Center set free a snowy owl that was found injured at Quonset Point last month. On Sunday, it released another snowy owl back into the wild.  By mid March, the owl should make her way North and arrive back in the Artic in time for summer, according to the Born to be Wild Facebook page.

But the question remains, how can you spot this elusive owl around Newport, RI?  “Look around in the trees and ponds and in open areas near the ocean and look for anything out of the ordinary,” said Middletown resident Stephen P. Ford who frequently captures the owl on camera.

 

How to Downsize Your Stuff for a Move

14 Aug
August 14, 2013

How can you decide what to keep and what to toss when you move to a smaller space? Whittling down a lifetime’s worth of belongings for a move into a smaller home can be a difficult and emotional task. How can you decide what to keep and what to toss? Here are some things you can do to make the process easier:

Get an early startIf you wait until you’ve signed a contract on your new home, you’ll end up getting overwhelmed and tossing everything into boxes to take with you. So start going through your belongings as soon as you decide to move.

Work in concentric circlesStart in the rooms farthest from the heart of the home, such as the attic, basement, and storage rooms. That’s where there are more items that are simply being stored rather than used. Then move into the bedrooms, family room, and kitchen. Pack as you go through these rooms, and make separate piles of items you plan to sell, donate, and give to friends or relatives. Then get those items out of your home right away, so you won’t change your mind.

Involve your familyItems hold different meanings for various family members. You don’t want to save and store that box of toys from your daughter’s childhood only to find out later she doesn’t want them. You also don’t want to toss your son’s old baseball gear if it holds great sentimental value to him.

Ask yourself questionsIf you’re unsure about whether to keep an item, ask yourself when was the last time you used it, how often you use it, what purpose it serves, what shape it is in, etc.

Envision your new homeDetermine which pieces of furniture and other large items will fit in the new space, then sell or give away what you won’t have room for. Storing these large items in a monthly storage facility is costly. Items that were custom-made or specially purchased for your old space also may not transition well to your new place.

Determine the costWeigh the price you can get for selling an item against the cost of moving it. It may be better to buy something more suited to your new home with the money earned from a sale.

Consider contextIf you’re selling everything else a particular item fits in with, you might want to let it go. For example, if you’re saying goodbye to the couch, it might be time to part with the matching love seat.

Be kind to yourselfYou don’t have to get rid of everything you hold dear. If you’re really attached to an item and it would break your heart to let it go, keep it!

Sources: The Wall Street Journal

5 Reasons You Should Buy a Home NOW!

07 Feb
February 7, 2013

Many potential buyers are waiting until they can be 100% sure the real estate market has fully recovered before making the move to purchase a home. Here are five reasons why waiting might not make sense any longer:

1.) Prices Are on the Rise

The latest Case Shiller Home Price Index revealed that home prices have appreciated 5.5% over the last year. This is occurring across the nation as increases were reported in 19 of 20 metros. The Home Price Expectation Survey, which polls a distinguished panel of over 100 economists, investment strategists, and housing market analysts, calls for continued appreciation over the next five years.

2.) Mortgage Interest Rates Are Expected to Increase

The Mortgage Bankers Association has predicted that, after reaching record lows in 2012, mortgage rates will creep up slowly in 2013 to 4.4%. Rates have already increased by 2/10 of a point (3.32 to 3.53) in the last two months.

3.) Rents Are Continuing to Skyrocket

Recently, Zillow  reported that rents in the U.S. increased by 4.2% over the last year. Increases were 5% or more in many major metropolitan areas including Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Detroit, Baltimore, Denver, San Jose and Charlotte.

4.) New Mortgage Regulations Will Be Announced Later This Year

Six regulators, including the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Securities and Exchange Commission, are currently drafting the new Qualified Residential Mortgage (QRM) rule. They will decide on two major requirements for buyers looking to qualify for a mortgage: minimum down payment and minimum FICO score. Many experts believe the new rules will be more stringent than current requirements.

 5.) Timelines Will Be Shorter

The dramatic increase in transactions caused many challenges to the process of buying or selling a home in 2012. We waited for inspections, dealt with last minute appraisals and prayed that the bank didn’t ask for ‘just one more piece of paper’ before issuing a commitment on the mortgage. There are fewer transactions this time of year. That means that timetables on each component of the home buying process will be friendlier for those involved in transactions over the next 90 days.

These are five good reasons why you should consider buying a home today instead of waiting.

5 Reasons to List Your Home Now

28 Jan
January 28, 2013

Points-About-PointsMany homeowners are waiting until the Spring ‘buying season’ to list their homes for sale. Here are five reasons why that might not make sense this year:

1.) Demand Is High
Homes are selling at a pace not seen since 2007. The most recent Existing Home Sales Report by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) showed that annual sales in 2012 increased 9.2% over 2011. There are buyers out there right now and they are serious about purchasing.

2.) Supply Is Low
The monthly supply of houses for sale is at its lowest point (4.4 months) since May of 2005. The current month’s supply is down 21.6% from the same time last year. Historically, inventory increases dramatically in the spring. Selling now when demand is high and supply is low may garner you your best price. Read more →

Luck wins state fellowship for music composition

28 Jan
January 28, 2013

LuckGlenda Luck of Block Island has been awarded the 2013 Fellowship in Music Composition by the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts RISCA. Once a year RISCA awards the fellowship to one recipient in the state.

RISCA fellowships are highly competitive. A “blind review” process is employed to protect the anonymity of the applicant and to guarantee assessment purely on the basis of artistic merit. A panel consisting of one in-state member, one out-of-state member and a third regional (not to exclude Rhode Island) member chosen for their involvement, mastery, or accomplishments in a particular arts discipline reviews each applicant’s materials.

Luck submitted material from her eclectic, contemporary folk project, “Manisses, A People and a Place,” which is slated for a spring 2013 release. This record is inspired by Block Island and the history of the island’s indigenous people. Simultaneously, Luck has been recording the album, “Little Red Lipstick, slated for a 2013 summer release. (She submitted one song from this album as well.)  Read more →